Savage, P. B. Curr. Med. Chem. Anti-Infective Agents 2002, 3, 293-304. Cationic steroid antibiotics.

Cationic steroid antibiotics have been developed that display broad-spectrum antibacterial activity. These compounds are comprised of steroids appended with amine groups arranged to yield facially amphiphilic morphology. Examples of these antibiotics are highly bactericidal, while related compounds effectively permeabilize the outer membranes of Gram-negative bacteria sensitizing these organisms to hydrophobic antibiotics. Cationic steroid antibiotics exhibit various levels of eukaryote vs. prokaryote cell selectivity, and cell selectivity can be increased via charge recognition of prokaryotic cells. Studies of the mechanism of action of these antibiotics suggest that they share mechanistic aspects with cationic peptide antibiotics.